Onboarding employees in a traditional working environment can be stressful as it is, but onboarding employees who are working remotely can be an even greater challenge. At BroadReach Search Partners, we help our clients onboard new hires as part of our process. We want to share our tips and tricks to help you.
- Know the difference between onboarding and orientation. Orientation is just one component of onboarding. Orientation focuses on transferring knowledge of the company and the job whereas onboarding includes the guidance of workload planning and displaying the company’s culture.
- Remote onboarding focus on three components: Communication, trust, and culture. All these components need representation in your onboarding plan. Your plan is really the key! Your new employee needs to know their two-week plan before their start date. Onboarding should have clear goals and a plan for 90 days out.
- Trust and Culture: This should be managed formally and informally. The formal approach includes making sure employees have equipment and access before they start. The informal approach includes creating spaces for teams and co-workers to get to know each other. These informal introductions should include direct reports, peers, and with direct reports and hiring managers with an element of fun to create chatting within the groups. Assigning them a “buddy” of a peer throughout the process to help create these virtual opportunities.
- Communication: Set out clear expectations and goals for the first 90 days. Start with small projects and build. As a hiring manager, talk about your management style and your own goals which will help the employee better understand the “why” and the “how“ of your work and where they fit in.
- The plan should include remote work-geared documents to help establish all three components (communication, trust, and culture) and help the employee navigate the company. Sections about team responsibilities and informal (hobbies etc.) knowledge. Look past just the organization chart. Take time to list the key people in other company functions and state why they are key to the organization.
- How will you keep it all going? Build a checklist! Between you (the hiring manager), the new hire, and the “buddy” you have assigned to the employee, who will have a shared responsibility to finish the checklist.
The key to onboarding someone remotely is to plan! Mapping out expectations for the first 90 days and weaving in culture throughout that timeframe will help establish your new employee while building even more connection with your team and others within the space you work.